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Haunted HVACs: Strange Noises from Your Furnace and What They Mean

As the days grow shorter and nights get colder, many of us turn up the heat and hope for a cozy evening indoors. But sometimes our furnaces greet us with ghostly groans, mysterious murmurs, and chilling creaks. While it’s tempting to imagine that spirits from the beyond have taken up residence in our heating systems, the reality is far less supernatural.

Let’s peel back the curtain on these eerie sounds and uncover the real culprits behind the strange noises from your furnace.

The Phantom Rattle

Just like chains dragged by ghosts, a rattling noise from your furnace can be unsettling. More often than not, this sound can be traced back to loose screws or panels. But when should you call a professional to address rattling sounds from your furnace?

Call us to investigate rattling sounds from your furnace if:

  • The rattling is loud and continuous.
  • The sound is accompanied by other strange noises, such as banging or screeching.
  • It’s getting worse over time.
  • The rattling is causing your furnace to not work properly.

It is important to have a professional take a look at your furnace if it is making any strange noises, as this could be a sign of a serious problem!

The Banshee’s Screech

A high-pitched squeal reminiscent of a banshee’s cry can send shivers down anyone’s spine. But fret not–you likely don’t have a banshee in your basement This wailing is typically due to a worn-out or misaligned belt in the blower.

Replacing or readjusting the belt will tighten it and stop the noise. If the belt is broken, it will need to be replaced. But the good news is that replacing the belt is a relatively simple task that can be done by most people. However, if you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always call us at Area Sheet Metal.

The Booming Sounds of Poltergeist

If your furnace sounds like it’s possessed by a booming poltergeist every time it starts up, the culprit might be dirty burners. ‍

Dirty burners in a furnace refer to the accumulation of dust, dirt, and other debris on the burner components. The burners are essential parts of the furnace responsible for igniting the fuel (be it gas or oil) to produce the flame required to heat the air that warms your home. Over time, just as with any frequently used appliance, these burners can become coated with particulates from the combustion process and the surrounding environment.‍

When the burners are dirty, a few things can happen:

  • Delayed Ignition: The buildup on the burners can hinder the fuel’s immediate ignition. Instead of lighting up as soon as the fuel reaches them, the dirt acts as a barrier, causing a slight delay.
  • Gas Accumulation: During this delay, more gas can accumulate in the area. So when the ignition finally occurs, it ignites all the accumulated gas at once. This leads to the startling “booming” sound. The sound is akin to a mini explosion and is sometimes referred to as “hard starting.” Please call us if this happens!
  • Inefficient Operation: Beyond the noise issue, dirty burners also cause the furnace to operate inefficiently. The flame might not burn as hot or as evenly, leading to increased fuel consumption and decreased heat output.

The Ghoulish Groan

A ghostly groan emanating from the depths of your furnace can be both mysterious and concerning. This groaning is often the result of expanding and contracting air ducts as they heat up and cool down.

While it’s generally harmless, ensuring that your ducts are properly insulated can help keep the ghouls at bay.

The Witch’s Whistle

A sharp, whistling sound is reminiscent of a witch darting through the night sky. However, in your furnace, it could be a sign of gaps or cracks in your ductwork, or even a clogged filter.

Replacing the filter or sealing the ducts can help ground the witch and her eerie tune.

More Haunting Signs of Heating Systems that need a Tune-up

While strange noises from your furnace are alarming, there are other haunting signs of when your heating system tune-up. Keep your ears (and eyes) open for the following.

Chilling Cold Spots

If certain rooms or areas in your house are noticeably colder than others, it might be a sign that your heating system is struggling. Uneven heating can indicate issues with the ductwork, blower motor, or even the furnace’s ignition system.

Your Home isn’t Getting Warm

If your furnace seems to be running constantly without giving your home adequate warmth, it’s an indicator that it’s working overtime — and still falling short. This could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat, a compromised heat exchanger, or leaks in the ducts.

Skyrocketing Energy Bills

An unexpected rise in your energy bills, especially without a corresponding increase in usage, is a clear signal that your heating system is not working efficiently. Old, unmaintained systems have to work harder to produce the same amount of heat, consuming more energy in the process.

The Ghostly Glow: Pilot Light Problems

The pilot light should emit a steady blue flame. If it’s yellow or keeps going out, it indicates a problem. A yellow flame can signal a lack of oxygen or the presence of carbon monoxide – both of which require immediate attention.

Mysterious Water Puddles

Finding unexplained water puddles or leaks around your furnace isn’t just spooky; it’s a warning sign. It can mean a condensation issue or a problem with the furnace’s internal components. Either of these problems will need the attention of a professional.

Frighteningly Old Age

Furnaces, like all appliances, have a finite lifespan. If your furnace is over 15 years old and showing multiple signs of wear and tear, it might be more economical to consider a replacement rather than costly repairs.

Strange Noises from Your Furnace? Call Area Sheet Metal for a Fall Furnace Tune-up

Feeling scared about the condition of your furnace? Area Sheet Metal is here to help. Our furnace tune-up service gives you the complete A-to-Z inspection of your furnace, ranging from changing the filter to testing for carbon monoxide and much more.

Don’t forget to join our Discount Club to enjoy reduced repair fees, priority scheduling, and much more. Call us today to get started.

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